mahabis interviews // martin 'atjazz' iveson
Renowned producer, sought after remixer, floor filling DJ, and dad of two.
Martin ‘Atjazz’ Iveson has made an imprint on the audio world since taking a job at the video games development company Core Design Ltd, at the age of just 17. Now synonymous with Lara Croft and the series of Tomb Raider games, Martin left the company after 13 years to concentrate on his musical aspirations. Since then, he’s remixed and reworked songs for artists such as Bob Sinclair and Zed Bias, teamed up with world class vocalists, and is in demand across the globe.
Though a self-confessed work addict, we caught up with Martin to talk about how he spends his downtime: from locking away the phone, wearing his mahabis (everywhere), and reaching for his favourite records.
Before we begin, could you explain in one sentence what you do?
I write & produce music and I also perform DJ sets worldwide under the moniker Atjazz & my real name, Martin Iveson.
You've worked on many impressive tracks and projects, what accomplishments are you the most proud of?
2016 is my 20th Year in the music business and I've worked with some amazing people and been in the creative process of music I never thought I'd lay my hands on. My remixes are well known and I've been asked to rework many artists I look up to including, Bob Sinclar, Nitin Sawnhey, St Germain, Incognito, Dwele & Henri Mancini to name a handful.
I'm very honoured to have had these opportunities in my lifetime. Obviously being asked to join the team at Core Design Ltd. back in 1991 was an epic mind explosion to me as I was only 17 and landed a job at a video games development company producing the sounds & soundtracks to over 30 titles from 1991 to 2008.
You're famed for many things, including your audio work on video games, music releases, remixes and DJ-ing. How do you balance your time between so many different ventures?
I actually run two record labels and an audio mastering company these days in between travelling the world performing DJ sets.
I'm quite the work addict to be honest, working in music goes either two ways from what I've seen, you strike it lucky or you work really hard to keep floating, I'm still waiting for that lucky break, but if it doesn't come, I have my work ethic to keep me going.
Working on so many different projects helps to keep one stimulated and interested, as every job can become a bit laborious over time.
How important is downtime to you?
I love downtime, I have to leave my phone somewhere locked in a cupboard, made of lead of course with a code that I can't crack as I sometimes need to be on call for artists on my label and I can't let work get in the way of changing nappies and playing transformer can I?... #dadoftwo
What is the ultimate way you choose to relax?
On a beach with a cocktail, sunglasses and a book. Please!...
What is the one city/ place in the world that you’ll never tire of visiting? and why?
I'd have to say Amsterdam. I've been going to Amsterdam since I was 18 years old, I'm 41 now and I've never bored of the place. It's really diverse and has an amazing cafe/club vibe about it, not to mention the amazing restaurants and bars, but I do like a trundle down the old streets, I think the water keeps the place on a level of calm.
Music is obviously extremely important to you. Which three records do you reach for to soundtrack your downtime?Pat Metheny - Still Life Talking
Herbie Hancock - Manchild
D'Angelo - Voodoo
I was talking to one of my artists from the label the other day about de-constructive listening and how it ruins the experience because we're studio producers. So the reason I pick these albums is because when I can't deconstruct a record, I can listen to it in its full glory.
When and where do you wear your mahabis?
All day, everywhere, where allowed!
Where do you look to for inspiration for your work?
I love being surrounded by equipment, I think the overall, sound exploring brings a lot to the part of my brain that generates Ideas, or as Fry from Futurama puts it... "thinking..... with pictures..... that hurt".... LOL
If you had an extra hour in the day, how would you spend it?
In the bath... Wearing mahabis... "Feet over the side", don't wanna ruin them!